As you may know, this week the Colorado State House debated the Colorado state budget for the next fiscal year. I'm excited to announce that Representative Faith Winter (Westminster- D) and I amended the Colorado budget to provide a new air-quality monitoring machine to monitor emissions from oil and gas operations. Right now, the Colorado Department of Public Health has only one of these machines and it responds only when someone believes something has gone wrong. Our new machine would be able to respond to a community when new operations are planned to take baseline air quality information and then to monitor the quality of air as operations occur to make sure that unsafe emissions aren't a result of nearby oil and gas operations.
There is a lot of different information about the the impact of oil and gas extraction on air quality, but the most important information isn't what happened somewhere else: it's whether anything dangerous is occurring right here in our neighborhoods. There are significant oil and gas operations planned in Broomfield and Erie and the residents of our communities deserve to know exactly what, if any, emissions from those operations will be present in and around their homes and schools.
We're not all the way there yet, though. The House-adopted budget and Senate-adopted budget have to be reconciled, but it is my great hope that this item is a part of the final budget and we'll be able to see this new monitoring equipment in action soon.
Watch Rep Winter and I introduce this amendment here.